Turkish-influenced Hummus

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Ref:

  • Smitten Kitchen's writeup of her own and some of Ottolenghi's technique [1]
  • 5 Secrets to Perfect Hummus, from Babushka Table/Delicious Istanbul [2]
  • Food52 / Yotam Ottolenghi / Sami Tamimi's technique [3]
  • Food52 / Zahav's Hummus Recipe [4]

Tips:

  • Either use already husked chickpeas/chana or husk your cooked/canned chickpeas. Or Saute with baking soda (per Ottolenghi's recipe) before long-cooking the soaked, previously dried chickpeas. This is meant to husk or break down the husks on the chickpeas too. Hummus made with husked chickpeas is delectably smooth. If you've never had it, you should definitely try it. If you've had it, you may understand the impulse to make hummus with husked chickpeas again. One way to get pre-husked chickpeas is to find dried split chana dal and cook those. The splitting already husks the chickpeas. If you were really detailed about it, you'd have to go through the cooked chickpeas and pick out the husks, but whatever. Do as you must.
  • Mellow the garlic a little by soaking it in the lemon juice before mixing both into the mixture.
  • Reserve some of the chickpea cooking liquid to use to wet and smooth out the hummus.
  • Don't skimp on the olive oil which you use for topping it when serving.
  • Make your hummus ahead of time and let rest in the fridge. This will develop flavor.
  • When you buy or take your tahini out of the cupboard or fridge, it will likely have separated. Don't use it as is! Mix it up! As much of a pain as this is, the easiest way to do that is to scoop the whole jar out into a mixing bowl and mix it all up again. We find that if you do sort of repeated smooshing motions with the back of a spoon, it goes pretty quickly. Put the unused stuff back in the jar.
  • To rescue a situation where you failed to soak the chickpeas overnight, you can do a par cook/soak approach like this:
    • Put the 2/3 cups dried chana dal into a pot big enough for 1 1/2 quarts.
    • Add 4 cups of water.
    • Bring to a boil.
    • Cover and let soak for at least 1 hour.
    • Continue recipe as if you soaked the chana dal overnight.
  • Zahav's contribution, that helps mellow the garlic, is to infuse the lemon juice with garlic and throw out the garlic solids.
  • Some Israelis prefer using toasted, ground cumin instead of sumac. If you do this, use less than 1/2 a teaspoon for this amount of chickpeas.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cups dried, husked, split chana dal (Indian dried, split, and already husked chickpeas)
  • water for overnight soaking, to be discarded
  • 3 1/4 cups water for cooking chana dal (will reserve after cooking)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (to help soften)
  • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 3/4 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 or more cups reserved chickpea cooking fluid (to texture)
  • olive oil (for serving)
  • (optional) paprika or sumac - to sprinkle on top of hummus upon serving
  • pita or crudites to accompany
  • (optional) brush wedges of pita with olive oil, sprinkle with za'atar, and brown a bit in an oven

Method:

  1. Soak dried chickpeas, covered with water, overnight.
  2. Drain, then put in a pot with 3 1/4 cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes. If any foam comes up while bringing it to a boil, skim it off. Chickpeas are done and tender when they break up easily between thumb and forefinger.
  3. Drain cooked chickpeas but reserve the cooking liquid - you can use this for soups or aquafaba, or in this recipe, for helping tweak the texture of the hummus.
  4. While the chickpeas are draining, handle the garlic, salt and lemon. Put unpeeled garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a blender or food processor and blend it or process it until the garlic is in little tiny (fragments the size of a 1/4 of a pea) pieces. Let stand, steeping for 10 minutes. Then filter through a fine mesh sieve, so you end up with garlic infused, salty lemon juice.
  5. Place drained, cooked, husked chickpeas into food processor bowl and process by themselves for a minute or more until it either gets smooth or goes into powdery clumps, depending on how wet they are after cooking and draining. Be sure to scrape the sides down occasionally.
  6. Add tahini, and garlic-infused lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
  7. Taste. Add more lemon juice or salt to balance/bring out the flavors. It's okay if hummus is a little on the salty side. That whole sodium and high blood pressure thing was debunked for the general population. Go nuts.
  8. Test for texture/stiffness and adjust by blending in reserved water/extra water. The texture you're going for is soft peak, which you can test by lifting up some from the surface and watching the peak half hold, half fold over or another test is to watch the mixture's behavior when you stop blending. Does it stay sort of bunched up around the edge, or does it fall back toward the center of your food processor? Falling back toward the center is good. For us it took about 4 Tbsp of water.
  9. Put mixture in storage or serving containers, cover, and refrigerate. If you make it ahead of time and let it sit, flavors will blend and blossom.
  10. To serve: Put in serving dish, texture the top with swirls with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with paprika or sumac for color and a little taste. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Serve with plain or seasoned/oiled/toasted pita and/or vegetable crudites. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Cooking time for dried chickpeas varies on size, age, local humidity, length of time you soaked them. So check them a few times during cooking.
  • Our organic dried, split, husked chana dal still had a noticeable number of husks after cooking. Will post observations here on texture.
  • Because of the size of our chana dal, there may be more chickpeas (because of dense packing than of larger canned chickpeas) than we expect, so be sure to tweak other ingredients, especially liquid, for overall final texture (will probably need more). Also note that as the hummus sets (for instance if you make it the night before a party), it will get tighter/firmer, so you may wish to mix it a little on the loose/wet side to start. Experiment!
  • Since the hummus is served room temperature or cooled, let the chickpeas cool after cooking - blending hot, semi-liquid ingredients together can sometimes have an explosive side effect. So it's best to let the chickpeas cool so no one gets burned or splattered.

References: